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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 710: T-317

Records of Boston Women's Community Radio, 1972-1993 (inclusive), 1980-1989 (bulk)


Audio recordings, phone logs and programming books, promotional material, budgets, flyers, etc. of Boston Women's Community Radio.


  • Creation: 1972-1993
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1980-1989


Language of Materials

Materials in English, Spanish, and French.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by Boston Women's Community Radio are held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other audiotapes in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Materials may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 photograph folder, and 224 audiotapes)

The collection of audiotapes and related materials document roughly twenty years of BWCR activities, the bulk of which falls between 1980 and 1989. The archivist created the folder titles and arrangement of the papers, while leaving audiotapes in chronological order, or in the numerical order utilized by the organization.

Series I, LIVE OFF-AIR BROADCAST RECORDINGS, 1982-1989 (#T-317.1 - T-317.80), contains the live off-air recordings, made in-house, of each year's event. IWD programming started at 12 am on a Saturday night, ending around midnight the following day. Years prior to 1982, 1983 and 1984, and after 1989, were not included with the collection. There are gaps in 1985 and 1987 recordings. For yearly scheduled line-ups, see folders #1.1 (1982-1983) and #1.13 (1972, 1980-1992). For further information on various IWD "greetings," see Series II, Suberies B. Titles are derived from the tape labels, with some additional puncuation and italicization added for clarity in the descriptions. Subseries A-F are arranged chronologically. Format is audiocassette.

Series II, PRE-RECORDED PROGRAMS AND PROMOTIONAL PIECES, INTERNATIONAL GREETINGS AND MUSICAL INTERLUDES, 1972, 1980-1992, undated (#T-317.81 - T-317.224), contains the pre-recorded shows in their entirety, supplimental material used to promote IWD programming, and musical segues.

Subseries A, Pre-recorded programs and promotional pieces, 1972, 1980-1992, undated (#T-317.81 - T-317.176), contains complete programs or promotional inserts produced either with assistance by BWCR, during the event (call-in shows), or acquired for the event; and includes material from the years prior to 1982, the year off-air recording of the events began, and after 1989, the year it ended. Titles are derived from the tape labels, with some additional punctuation for single programs, and italicization added for nationally distributed programs.

Subseries B, IWD greetings and musical interludes, undated (#T-317.177 - T-317.224), consists of brief celebratory greetings from women all over the world in honor of IWD; as well as musical interludes used throughout the days's programming. Tapes are listed in original order. Format is cart tape.

Series III, ADMINISTRATIVE, 1981-1993 (#1.1-1.12), includes broadcast schedules, production and engineering guidelines, assorted scripts, meetings notes, and phone logs noting listeners' responses.

Series IV, BROADCAST-RELATED MATERIALS, 1972-1992 (#1.13-1.22), includes broadcast schedules, production and engineering guidelines, assorted scripts, meetings notes, and phone logs noting listeners' responses.

Series V, PHOTOGRAPHS AND OVERSIZED, 1987-1989 (#PD.1, F+D.1), contains photographs from a 1987 shoot in the studio, and large-format posters advertising the year's line-up, including one mock-up.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database.


Boston Women's Community Radio (BWCR) was founded in 1977, and incorporated as a non-profit in 1985. Beginning in 1978, BWCR's core staff and volunteers produced twenty-four hours of programming in commemoration of International Women's Day (IWD), which aired annually in March on WMBR-FM, student radio station licensed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. BWCR served as an umbrella organization and training ground for feminist radio producers and local community groups, with many of the programs produced for the yearly event distributed afterwards to national audiences. The organization aimed for high-quality programming that was entertaining as well as informative, both political and cultural in content. Shows included sensitive issues such as sexual abuse, lesbian equality, lesbian parenting, children of divorce, Palestinian rights, women organizing in Central America; and they offered a musical blend of Latin American, African, jazz, rock, folk and women's music all highlighting women performers. Moreover, the yearly event featured women writers, playwrights, and poets, including work coming out of Jefferson Park Writing Center (and housing project) in Cambridge.


The collection is arranged in five series:

  1. Series I. Live off-air broadcast recordings, 1982-1989 (#T-317.1 - T-317.80)
  2. Series II. Pre-recorded programs and promotional pieces, international greetings and musical interludes, 1972, 1980-1989, undated (#T-317.81 - T-317.224)
  3. Series III. Administrative, 1981-1993 (#1.1-1.12)
  4. Series IV. Broadcast-related materials, 1972-1992 (#1.13-1.22)
  5. Series V. Photographs and oversized, 1987-1989 (#PD.1, F+D.1)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2003-M157

The records of Boston Women's Community Radio were given to the Schlesinger Library by Boston Women's Community Radio, via Eileen Bolinsky, in December 2003.

Processing Information

Processed: January 2012

By: Melissa Dollman

Boston Women's Community Radio. Records of Boston Women's Community Radio, 1972-1993 (inclusive), 1980-1989 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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